Go Long, Boys! {Why We Are a Flag Football Family}

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Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored series with the National Football Foundation’s Football Matters campaign. 

Go Long, Boys! {Why We Are a Flag Football Family}

We arrive to the field at 8:00am. The ground is still wet with dew. My five dudes shuffle alongside my husband and I while we try and find a good central location to park our wagon which is carrying a morning’s worth of Gatorade, water, and snacks. We set up, and double check our schedule for the day. Two boys have the same start time, on separate fields, but close enough to where I can bounce back and forth between each to hopefully catch their performance. The ref blows the whistle, and our morning of five flag football games begins!

This is our first year where all five of my sons are playing flag football with the NFL flag football league. It makes for quite a long morning, but I so appreciate that we are all in the same place as a family. As we cheer for each game, each snap, each reception, we are also cheering for friendship, for focus, for encouragement. When we registered over the summer, I didn’t really give it too much thought. The boys said they wanted to play, and the hubs and I said sure. However, over the last few weeks of watching them practice and now as they begin to play games…I’m realizing that although each said they wanted to play, they are out here for very different reasons.

For one, it’s connecting with friends. In a day where he is feeling left out of social media connection (not going there yet, dude!), he gets to have some great interactions in person. For another, it’s the chance to be a leader. In a large family, it is difficult to get the spotlight. As the quarterback, he gets to be engaged in every play…and he is soaking it in. For my middle, it’s a sport that size doesn’t necessarily determine success. His first game he caught and scored two touchdowns…because he is scrappy, not because he is the biggest kid on the field. For the next, it’s an hour of play. He is our Tigger, bouncing with personality and energy. Football keeps his mind focused and his body moving! And my caboose, he is reveling in the fact that he is doing what his big brothers are doing. It’s hard watching from the sidelines all the time…but now he is in the football mix and there is a sense of pride that shows through his smile.

We spend the morning pacing from one sideline to another. We spend $1 million at the concession stand. We give thumbs up, high fives, and good jobs. We say “that’s okay,” “you’re doing great,” and “you played your best.” We see neighborhood friends and cheer for them. We sweat out as fast as we hydrate. We are coached by dads from our church. We see acquaintances from over the years and catch up on life. We stand awkwardly close to people we barely know just to have some of their umbrella shade. We have a great morning.

 

 

 

 

 

As parents, you say yes to extracurriculars so that your kids will hopefully get to experience some things that will help them grow.  I am appreciative of a sport that feeds each of them differently, all while keeping us in the same geographic location. The season has just begun, so we have a lot of football left to play. So, if you need us on a Saturday morning you know where we’ll be. And if you have an umbrella, can I share some of your shade?

Learn more about the NFF’s Football Matters campaign.

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